If I had a dollar for every time someone told me they can't wear culottes, don't know how to wear culottes, or are afraid of the trend altogether, I'd be on a yacht somewhere by now. For a laundry list of reasons, culottes are tricky — there's no doubt about it. Some trends, like skinny jeans, come around and take the world by storm because they're versatile and pretty universally flattering. But when culottes step out on the scene, people flock like scared pigeons. Everyone thinks they're awkward, unflattering, or just plain puzzling.
But when you do find the right pair of culottes, it's like a whole new world — they can be just as versatile as your favorite jeans, not to mention they look super-chic and of-the-moment. But first, to clear up some universal confusion, let's talk about what makes a culotte a culotte.
Believe it or not, the term's been around since the late Middle Ages, and the original culottes were actually worn by men first. From kings to military personnel and the first few presidents of the United States, men wore trousers that hit just below the knee. But later, the definition shifted to mean bottoms that look like a skirt but are actually pants — like the original French definition of the word, which described the liberating split riding skirts that women wore to ride their bikes. And today, they've become even slimmer, looking more like a wide, cropped trouser.
Who knew this trend had such a history? If you're still not on board with them, it turns out you're even longer overdue than you thought to give these guys a try. Ahead, we solve all of your culotte-related problems so that you can find a pair to wear with confidence. Go big or go home.